ADL Calls for Action Against Academic Boycotters
Update: The University and College Union (UCU), created on June 1st through a merger of NATFHE with the Association of University Teachers, has officially confirmed that the boycott motion passed by NATFHE "has no continuing force or effect in UCU."
New York, NY, May 30, 2006 … In the wake of the vote by Britain's largest union of college and university teachers to boycott Israel, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged U.S. academics, universities and grant-making bodies to suspend contacts and cut funding to supporters of the blatantly discriminatory practice. The National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) voted on May 29 to blacklist Israeli academics who do not publicly disassociate themselves from the "continuing Israel apartheid policies." ADL's call is in keeping with the long-standing leadership of the United States to counteract boycotts of Israel.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
The NATFHE boycott resolution resembles the attempts by Arab states following the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 to isolate Israel's economy from the rest of the world. Today, NATFHE seeks to isolate Israel's scholars.
Under the guise of democratic values and academic freedom, NATFHE's boycott resolution codifies an illiberal, undemocratic policy that destroys the very worth of the academy as an open forum for the honest exchange of ideas. We now have an openly declared academic boycott of Israel in operation. Those who advocate a boycott single out Israel for condemnation while ignoring massive and genuine human rights violations all over the world, including Saudi Arabia, North Korea and Sudan, to name just a few.
Those who seek to damage and discredit their Israeli colleagues with a blacklist must know that there is a price to pay. In normal circumstances, we are opposed to boycotts. But these are exceptional circumstances. Therefore, we call on the entire academic sector in the United States to cut funding, support and contact with any academic who advocates a boycott of Israel.
The union's decision came despite an international outcry over the boycott resolution. In the lead-up to the conference, NATFHE's leaders received thousands of protest letters, emails and petitions, including a petition organized by ADL which carried more than 12,000 signatures.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.